Monday, April 26, 2010

So far...

It's Monday night, warm and humid. Jazz music in the background and here I am sitting in front of my big LCD TV, trying to composed my thoughts and to write things down for my blog. Last week was like an emotional roller coaster for me. It has been exactly a week since I was diagnosed. I was very brave on the first day, the second day... I was brave enough to tell it to my close friends, friends that I really know I can trust and who cares. The third day was the breakdown, I stayed in my friend's place for the night, 'coz I just don't want to be lonely.... that was my loneliest day.

When I got back to work on Thursday night, I was completely okay, being able to cry out and telling everything to John was a great help. John broke down, us being friends for more than a decade now, and how we watched each other grow... it was a shock and it was much more difficult for him to accept my condition. We have so much dreams together and we watched as each of us slowly made our dreams come true. Now that I have this condition, he is afraid that some of our dreams might not come true at all. I told him they will, I will live long enough to make my dreams and our dreams come true.

Last night (Sunday), was an awesome day for me. I am currently dating a very cute guy from work, and he spent the night here yesterday. He doesn't know about my condition yet, I was about to tell him last night, but I stopped myself, thinking that him knowing my condition could hamper our dating progress. I am still assessing his knowledge of the virus and educate him if needed, so I did some sort of introductory chat about the virus. He's cute, he is a movie buff and I was surprised on how much we have in common. We both are addicted to JPOP, movies, and anime. At first, all I thought about him was his beautiful face that was it, I was wrong. We do have things in common and I realized how sweet he is and how much we agree on many things. I hope everything goes well, I hope he can accept me and my condition.

Tomorrow I will be going to San Lazaro again for my lab test. It's 20 minutes before midnight so I have prepared a cup of instant noodles, I have to eat before then.

Breaking point

It was Wednesday, April 21, 2010. I woke up at 6AM to go to the Health Clinic in front of San Lazaro for my lab test. I was hungry, I haven't eaten since midnight. Because of my turtlish pace, I got out of my condo at past 7AM, I had a feeling I will be late. San Lazaro Hospital is an hour and a half ride from my condo.

I arrived at the train station going to Manila at 8 AM, I was horribly late. My phone suddenly rang... It was Dave (not his real name of course), my bestfriend's boyfriend. He said "hi" and I asked if he already knew, he said yes, after a few minutes of catching up he then gave the phone to my best friend Anne (not her real name), she suddenly said in a loud voice "I'll slap you once I see you!", it felt so good to hear her voice. I haven't talked to her for months.

After a good 30 minutes on the phone with Anne, I checked the time and it was already 8:30 AM. I am already late. I got in the next train. I arrived at the clinic a few minutes before 9 AM. The clinic is a typical public health clinic, not really that clean and full of old furniture. There was an old shirtless man behind the reception desk, I ask him politely if he entertains people for the lab test and if he accepts payments. All he said was I was late, overfast, and I have to return the next day. I was disappointed because I was so hungry that morning. After a quick breakfast in a nearby Jollibee, I headed to Makati to pay for my condo loan. I was already hot headed, on a hot weather.

After a few hours of waiting in long lines. I finally got out of the Housing Loan stuff. I then went to the mall to check out some stuff. I felt so alone that day. I usually go to the mall alone, watch movies alone, buy groceries alone. do my shopping alone, because I live alone. But there was a feeling of disgust, loneliness, desperation and uneasiness on that day... I never felt so alone. I called up my friend if he can meet up with me for a quick lunch before he goes to work. He gladly said yes.

After 30 minutes, I met my friend in Taft avenue, an old, popular avenue in Manila. Then he asked what's up with the lonely face, I wasn't able to stop my emotions from flowing out... I told him I'm HIV positive. He was surprised, but he took it in a regular kind of way. We went malling afterwards then I was on my way to go home.

In the train ride going home, I was texting my ex-date who was on that day just got his HIV test result. He tested negative, I was happy for him. Wednesday was our supposed movie day together but he said he can't because he got work to do. He works at home so I said it would be fine if I can just lounge at his place and I will make sure not to bother him. He said he can't and he will see me on Sunday. I felt so desperate that day. I just don't want to go home. I just don't want to be alone. I wanted him at my side. Tears started falling down my face as I stand inside the jampacked train. I was screaming inside my head saying... "I JUST DON'T WANT TO BE ALONE!". No one can hear my cry and nobody understands me. I never felt so desperate to be with someone, I never felt so desperate to be held. I wanted to jump off the running train. I wanted to be with my grandma, I wanted to be with her so bad... my grandma died more than a decade ago.

I was explaining to my HIV-negative-ex-date how much I wanted to be with him on this all fucked up day of mine. He just said repeatedly "not today". I wanted to cry and I wanted to die. He said he was worried, but he doesn't want to see me, "I'm busy, not today" he said.

Then I got a phone call from another ex-date, saying he was just thinking about me and he asked how I was doing. He knows I have HIV and he just wanted to check on me, he was on his way to work that day. I felt relieved that someone very unexpected remembered me. I then decided to get off at Cubao station and visit my friend John.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My first official day as an HIV positive man.

Today, I got the document that will say if I have the virus or not. It has been two weeks of agonizing wait. As I stared at the envelope containing the document I remembered my first day in this clinic...

I went to San Lazaro Hospital in Manila to the the HIV test, that was last April 5. At first I was wondering where I can get an HIV test in Metro Manila, I know all hospitals offer it and other clinics as well, but last time I checked they said I need a doctor's request for it. So thanks to the internet, I was able to do some research and called up some numbers in the DOH AIDS hotline
. The guy who answered the phone was friendly and gave me directions on how to go to San Lazaro and what to do and where to go when I get there. So I did, on that same day.

The envelope was stapled, and I was having quite a hard time opening it because I was very careful not to cut myself removing the stapler. The doctor gave me a letter opener. The staple wire was loosened and I finally was able to to take it off. There was some sort of questionnaire and inside it, was the document. My hands were already shaking as I opened the folded document. I quickly looked for the words reactive and positive. There it was... near the bottom left part... "RESULT: POSITIVE".